Dirty tricks in packaging and merchandising
I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I've noticed some alarming trends in the manner of packaging and labeling beer in the store display case.
The worst is the 'high gravity' beers and designer wine coolers with around 10%-12% ABV. The "Four-Loco" and other such drinks are appealing to young people (they are sweetened and taste like soda-pop or candy mixed with the grossness of high-alcohol and probably the cheapest and poorest quality of malt liquor the companies can produce).
Two 'four locos' (sold in 25 oz cans), have about as much alcohol as a 12 pack of Bud light or Corona beer.
When I was battling my alcoholism, such high-alcohol beers were my staple, because they're generally cheap. The cheapest of the single (25 oz) cans in the beer case are typically the same ones with the highest alcohol content. They skimp on high quality grains when producing this beer in order to increase the profit-margin of the product.
Not only is that sort of a dirty trick, the size of the cans makes it seem like you're drinking less. If I have two cans of 12% malt liquor, I technically only have two cans of beer (even if the cans are double the size of a standard 12oz can) but again, in an hour or so, I just consumed the alcohol that is found in a 12 pack of standard beer, and that's a lot of beer in a short time.
Then there's the other trend, which is to sell beer in 16 oz cans instead of the standard 12 oz cans (it's hard to find a 'normal' six pack any more). perhaps this is a greater value for the customer, but it certainly helps the addict or dependent person to rationalize how much they're drinking.
It just makes me mad. I don't blame breweries for addiction, but I think in these cases they are certainly exploiting it.